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Aribo returns to EPL with Southampton after Championship play-off win

Aribo returns to EPL with Southampton after Championship play-off win Aribo returns to EPL with Southampton after Championship play-off win
Aribo returns to EPL with Southampton after Championship play-off win

Joe Aribo, Super Eagles of Nigeria midfielder, played all 90 minutes as Southampton defeated Leeds United 1-0 in the Championship play-off final at Wembley on Sunday.

The victory means Aribo and the Saints make an immediate return to the English Premier League (EPL) following relegation last season.

Adam Armstrong’s 24th-minute strike was the difference between both sides as Southampton kept Leeds at bay.

Aribo, who has been integral to Southampton reaching the play-offs, was in the thick of midfield action as his team held off Leeds early on before conjuring a goal out of nothing before the half-hour mark.

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The hero of the day Amstrong latched on to a through ball from Will Smallbone before placing his shot beyond the goalkeeper into the bottom corner for what proved to be the winner. The goal is his 24th of the season.

Leeds United lost both home and away to Southampton in the regular season and it was no different here despite their best attempts.

Dan James hit the crossbar and also forced a good save in added time but it was Southampton, in their first-ever play-off final, that held on for an immediate return to the EPL.

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Aribo’s return increases the number of Super Eagles players in the EPL; joining the duo of Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi who gained promotion with Leicester City after just one season in the Championship wilderness.

They will be welcomed by the likes of Alex Iwobi, Frank Onyeka, Taiwo Awoniyi, Ola Aina, and Calvin Bassey to the acclaimed most entertaining league in the world.

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